First week in Paris – 8th September 2014

Au Pairing in Paris

I can’t believe I’ve only been in Paris for 8 days. I feel like I’ve settled in so quickly, met loads of lovely people and seen some cool stuff and can’t believe I’ve got pretty much a whole year to explore this amazing city.

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As I’ve mentioned before, Au Pairing is a completely different world and it’s been a bit strange to fit into my role but I’ve found meeting up with other Au Pairs has been really helpful. Last Sunday I went to my first ‘meet up event’ in Paris; a big picnic organised for international students and au pairs in Champ De Mars, a park directly in front of the Eiffel Tower. I didn’t know anyone there so just sat down with the first group I saw and discovered a few English girls. We all chatted for hours over baguette and some amazing (my new trademark!) Blanc Peche wine. It might be Paris’ version of Lambrini (cheap and sweet) but I don’t care as it’s so yummy. I was so happy I plucked up the courage to go as I met some awesome people who I’ve already seen a few times again since then.

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My actual ‘work’ has been enjoyable, I’m learning a lot about the children and they seem to be getting used to me as their new helper/playmate/friend.

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One of the biggest challenges here is managing my time and motivating myself to work. Some of you know that I’m studying a TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) course at the moment and I’ve completed the classroom courses so now the rest is online. It’s 120 hours split into about 7 different units; you learn each unit then have a review at the end to test your understanding. I’m in the early stages of it; it’s interesting but difficult to find the right time to do it. I’m also trying to re learn some french using the duolingo app and website, which are both fab. On top of these i’m supposed to be applying for french lessons at a language school for 1 day a week. I obviously want to learn more french whilst here but the cost of these language schools are a bit crazy so I’ll maybe do some more research before booking. So this is my ‘workload’ but there’s a ridiculous amount of other stuff I want to get done this year;

– I’d love to do some dance teaching as I hate coming completely out of the dance bubble

– I need to get my exercise on and stop being so lazy, the plan is to join a netball club

– More photography. I haven’t touched my DSLR in weeks (I always use my mini panasonic but actually setting up a photo is painful for me now) and that needs to change ASAP

– More diary writing as I love that feeling of reading back over great / average / crappy times, months or years later

– More fashion show, events, gigs, parties, meet ups etc!

– Less time worrying about not fitting it all in. And just doing it.

Mary 

x

today's view from lunch

today’s view from lunch

What should I do? Why not move to Paris?! – 15th August 2014

Europe

If you read my post yesterday, have me on Facebook, Twitter or know me in real life you should know that come 30th August I’ll be moving to Paris to become an au pair!

I applied for the position on Gumtree (maybe my favourite website of all time.) whilst aimlessly wondering ‘what to do with my life’. I have a lot of these moments of having no idea or direction with what to do with myself and it can take a few days of convincing myself that I actually have loads of interests and maybe a few talents that will get me by. If I don’t come up with that then I can easily spiral into ‘I’ll never get a job, I have no skills, I’m going to end up penniless and homeless, I’ll be eaten by foxes on the street’ mood. Which is no fun. 

I searched for any job overseas; I decided England was the enemy and staying here would be like giving up. Which I now see as completely ridiculous but when you return from an unreal few months half way across the world you don’t get too excited by going to Howard Centre or getting a food shop at Sainsbury’s. I had my mind set on Asia; specifically teaching English in China because it was so far away and is unknown territory for me. I applied for every Asian teaching job I could find but many required a TEFL qualification or a degree, which I have neither of. My next step was looking for jobs closer to home and where visas weren’t an issue so searched for jobs in Europe.

In the back of my mind Au Pairing was always an option; I love kids, usually get on well with adults, want to learn a language and it provides accommodation and food. I read a family’s profile and liked the idea of their ‘everyday life’ – 3 young children who enjoy singing, dancing, sport and playing with 2 lovely parents and a beautiful house near central Paris. Parfait! I decided to apply with my CV and a cover letter. I must’ve done something right because a few days later I was having an interview with the children’s father and a week later I got an email to say I’d got the job!

Now I have just over 2 weeks before I get the Eurostar to  my new home for a year in Paris. I have a lot to organise and prepare but as usual I’m distracting myself with more exciting options and running from my responsibilities, woo!

Mary x

Sacre Coeur

Sacre Coeur